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You’re driving down the highway when suddenly a deer jumps in front of your car. You hit the brakes and luckily the deer narrowly sneaks by your driver’s side fender, barely clearing the vehicle. You take a deep breath and think to yourself, “Thank goodness I didn’t get into a collision!”

What you might not have realized, however, is that within every collision, there are three stages that take place. For those unfortunate enough to be involved in a car accident, vehicle damage and personal injury are all part of the three stages of collision.

At Collision 24, serving the Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton areas, we’ve compiled a handy reference to help you learn more about the three stages of collision.

First Collision: Vehicle Collision

accident_2The vehicle collision is what most people think of as the entire auto accident. As the car collides with another object, it begins to crumple and slow down. The ability of the vehicle to crumple is important, as it takes away some of the energy of the crash, helping to protect the people inside. Crumple zones are intentionally designed into every automobile specifically for this purpose.

An entire vehicle collision, from the initial contact with another object to full stop, occurs quickly. A vehicle traveling at 30 mph will experience the entire process in about one-tenth of a second. It’s important to remember, though, that while this is taking place, the two other stages of a collision are just beginning.

[Learn more: Top 5 Things to Check on Your Car after an Accident]

Second Collision: Human Collision

As the vehicle begins to crumple and slow down during a crash, the occupants of the vehicle are initially still moving in the same direction and at the same speed as they were before the crash. Their inertia will continue to carry them toward the point of impact until something stops them, like a seatbelt, airbag or, if the occupant is unrestrained, the dashboard or a window.

The importance of wearing a seatbelt comes into play here. An unrestrained person involved in a 30-mph crash will slow from 30 mph to a stop in just a few hundredths of a second, with only his or her body to absorb all the energy of the impact. A person wearing a seatbelt, on the other hand, will come to a stop more gradually as the seatbelt absorbs some of the energy from the impact.

Third Collision: Internal Collision

As both the vehicle and its occupants are slowing down, the organs and body tissues inside each person are, at first, still moving toward the point of impact. Just as in the second collision, their inertia continues to move them even as the body surrounding them begins to slow down. These internal organs will continue on their original path until they encounter other organs, bones, or the skull.

Although someone involved in an auto accident may at first appear uninjured, he or she might have sustained internal injuries resulting from this third collision. Organs like the liver, spleen, or heart can become torn or bruised from impacting each other or other surfaces within the body. The brain can be bruised from hitting the inside of the skull or torn by impacting a fractured portion of the skull. Proper restraint within a vehicle will help to prevent these types of life threatening injuries.

Collision 24, Your Trusted Collision Repair Center

If your car has been involved in an auto accident, we’re here to help. Collision 24, a full-service automotive repair center serving Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton, has an impressive team of collision specialists with the technology and know-how to fix even severe accident damage. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.